Real-time Search Suggestions

What is a real-time suggestion search?

Real-time suggestion search is a method of displaying possible search matches based on a user’s input as they type.

This has an advantage over traditional search as real-time feedback is given to the user immediately so that they can quickly reach their destination or tweak their search query without waiting for a results page to load.

How Pilotbean uses real-time search suggestions?

At Pilotbean, we use real-time search on many sites where user research or finding content is seen as a key requirement. This enables us to deliver sites that can be used as quick research tools and enabling site users to find what they are looking for, even if there are many content types or records to look through.

Our implementations of real-time suggestion search often go much further then a simple dropdown of suggestions. Some examples of how we have delivered this technology include systems that group our results based on sections of the site. We use geolocation and distance to prioritise results as they are typed input and showing images within real-time results.

Our systems have been implemented to work as both suggestion type drop-downs as well as listing pages that filter and update in real-time. We also pay special attention to how these systems work on mobile devices with special consideration as to how they are presented when screens are half filed by a virtual keyboard.

The example screenshot is a barrister chambers website we built which incorporates the real-time search suggestions. As soon as a few letters are entered into the search bar, the serach bar displays all possible options from a multitude of areas. For Tanfield Chambers the content types included: People profiles, Services, Articles, News and Events.